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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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--n. 3 on the prowl. lurking or sneaking or skulking or stealing or slinking about or around, searching, seeking, hunting, tracking, stalking: The lioness was on the prowl for wildebeest. After a few drinks, the boys went on the prowl for some female companionship.

proximity n. nearness, closeness, adjacency, neighbourhood, vicinity, vicinage, contiguity, contiguousness, propinquity: The proximity of the airport kept housing prices relatively low.


n. substitute, agent, delegate, surrogate, representative,


factor: As I was unable to attend the owners' meeting, I sent


Jane as my proxy.


n. prig, puritan, Mrs Grundy, Colloq goody-goody, US bluenose:


He was a bit of a prude and disapproved of anything even


slightly suggestive.

prudence n. 1 discretion, wisdom, sagacity, judgement, discrimination, common sense, canniness, presence of mind, awareness, wariness, care, tact, carefulness, caution, cautiousness, circumspection, watchfulness, vigilance, heedfulness: You should proceed with prudence in this hazardous business. 2 planning, preparation, preparedness, foresightedness, forethought, foresight,

providence, precaution, far-sightedness; economy, husbandry, thrift, (good or careful) management: Owing to the prudence of her investments, Clara had accumulated a substantial nest egg.

prudent adj. 1 careful, cautious, discreet, discerning, wise, sage, sagacious, politic, judicious, discriminating, sensible, reasonable, canny, shrewd, cautious, circumspect, watchful, vigilant, heedful, wary, attentive, alert, guarded: James had always found it prudent to listen to others before speaking his mind. 2 provident, thrifty, economic(al), frugal, prudential: Father favours prudent, conservative management of the family business.

prudery n. prudishness, priggishness, puritanicalness, puritanism, squeamishness, Grundyism, primness, stuffiness, old-maidishness, precisianism: She said that censorship was the result of

prudery rather than concern for moral welfare.

prudish adj. priggish, puritanical, old-maidish, prissy, prim, fussy, squeamish, strait-laced, stiff, rigid, over-nice, over-modest, over-coy, proper, demure, decorous, formal: Victorian society was both prudish and prurient.

prune v. clip, cut back, lop, dock, pare (down), trim: If you prune fruit trees, they bear more abundantly. We have to prune the entertainment budget.

prurient adj. 1 libidinous, lecherous, lascivious, lewd, lubricious or lubricous, salacious, lustful, concupiscent, licentious, carnal, debauched, rakehell, sensual, randy, voluptuous, loose, goatish, ruttish, Literary Cyprian, Paphian, Archaic lickerish or liquorish, Slang horny, hot: The press takes a prurient

interest in the private lives of famous people. 2 dirty, lewd, filthy, pornographic, smutty, obscene, foul, scurrilous, vile, indecent, gross, lurid, blue, bawdy, ribald, titillating, suggestive, coarse, vulgar, low, crude, Literary Fescennine: The police raid uncovered a store of prurient literature, films, and videos.


v. 1 investigate, ferret about, examine, peer, peek, be


inquisitive, inquire or enquire: They pried into her past but


found nothing revealing. 2 intrude, meddle, interfere, Colloq


poke or stick one's nose in or into, snoop, be nosy, nose about


or around, poke about or around: They have no right to pry into


my private affairs.

16.8 pseudonym...


pseudonym n. nom de plume, nom de guerre, alias, pen-name, stage name, incognito: 'George Eliot' was the pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans.

psyche n. soul, spirit, mind, ‚lan vital, divine spark, life-force, anima, self, subconscious, unconscious, personality, (essential) nature, inner man or woman or person, Philosophy pneuma: To Homer, the psyche was more like an alter ego, or conscience.

psychic adj. 1 psychical, mental, spiritual, psychologic(al), subjective, psychogenic, cognitive, metaphysic(al), intellectual, cerebral; philosophic(al): The psychic effect of

losing a loved one can have physical repercussions. 2 psychical, extrasensory, supernatural, occult, magical, telepathic, telekinetic, preternatural, spiritualistic,

unearthly, extramundane, supermundane: Many psychic phenomena have never been satisfactorily explained.

--n. 3 medium, spiritualist, clairvoyant, mind-reader, telepathist, seer, seeress, crystal-gazer, soothsayer,

astrologer, fortune-teller, prophet, prophetess, sibyl: We were disturbed to learn that our political leaders consulted psychics.


adj. mental, intellectual, cerebral, cognitive, psychic(al), spiritual, subjective, subconscious, unconscious, subliminal, psychogenic; philosophic(al): He has plenty of money, so there must be psychological reasons for his stealing.


n. (mental) make-up, constitution, attitude, behaviour, thought processes, thinking, psyche, nature, feeling(s), emotion(s), rationale, reasoning: I cannot understand the psychology of fascism.

psychotic adj. 1 mad, insane, psychopathic, deranged, demented, lunatic, paranoiac or paranoid, abnormal, unbalanced, (mentally) ill or

esp. US sick, disturbed, non compos mentis, of unsound mind, exceptional, certifiable, daft, unhinged, raving, Slang crazy, nuts, nutty, loony or looney or luny, off one's rocker or

trolley or chump or head, cracked, crack-brained, mental, out to lunch, batty, bats, having bats in one's belfry, having a screw loose, not all there, touched (in the head), bonkers: The doctors diagnosed him as psychotic and insisted he be hospitalized.

--n. 2 madman, madwoman, maniac, psychopath, lunatic, paranoid or paranoiac, schizophrenic, bedlamite, Slang nut, nutter, screwball, crackpot, crazy, loony or looney or luny, schizo, US kook: How many psychotics do you think are wandering about loose?

16.9 pub...



n. public house, alehouse, tavern, inn, bar, cocktail lounge,


saloon, taproom, hostelry, Brit saloon or lounge bar, US


bar-room, Colloq Brit local, Slang boozer, watering-hole, joint,

dive, Chiefly Brit gin-palace, US barrelhouse, gin-mill, honky-tonk: We went down to the pub for a pint and a game of darts.


n. pubescence, sexual maturity, adolescence, juvenescence,

teens; nubility: The anxiety of parents for the health of an

infant is as nothing compared with their concerns when their

child reaches puberty.


adj. 1 communal, community, common, general, collective,

universal, catholic, popular, worldwide: One need only compare early and new films to see how public taste has changed. 2

civil, civic, social, societal, community, communal: Although they may seem restrictive, these laws are for the public good. 3 accessible, open, free, unrestricted, non-exclusive, communal, community, available: He does much of his research in the public library. 4 open, manifest, exposed, overt, projected, plain, obvious, apparent, patent, clear, clear-cut,

acknowledged, known, admitted, visible, viewable, conspicuous: Her public image is quite different from her private persona. 5 visible, viewable, conspicuous, unconcealed, unshrouded, flagrant, blatant: Has Alfie made a public spectacle of himself again? 6 well-known, prominent, eminent, celebrated, famous, renowned, noted, notable, influential, illustrious; notorious, disreputable, infamous: Invite a well-known public figure to open the exhibition if you can. 7 make public. See publish.

--n. 8 community, people (at large or in general), citizenry, citizens, nation, populace, population, society, masses, multitude, hoi polloi, bourgeoisie, plebeians, proletariat, rank and file, middle class, third estate, commonalty, voters, man or woman in the street, Brit admass, US John Q. Public, Mr or Mrs

Average, Colloq (any or every) Tom, Dick, and Harry: The public has responded generously to the charity appeal. 9 clientele or

Brit also clientage, customers, custom, patrons, followers, supporters, buyers, consumers, purchasers, following, business, trade: How can you expect to attract the public without advertising? 10 sector, segment, special-interest group,

portion: The commuting public will no longer tolerate these excessive train delays. 11 in public. publicly, openly, in the open, Colloq out of the closet: Jarvis has finally confessed in public what we long suspected privately.


n. 1 dissemination, promulgation, publicizing, publishing, proclamation, issuance, reporting, announcement, advertisement, advertising, pronouncement, airing, putting out, revelation, declaration, appearance: The publication of the news about the sale of the company was no surprise to us. 2 book, booklet, pamphlet, brochure, leaflet, broadside or broadsheet, flier or flyer, handbill, hand-out; periodical, magazine, journal, newsletter, newspaper, paper, broadsheet, tabloid; annual, semi-annual, quarterly, bimonthly, monthly, semi-monthly, fortnightly, biweekly, weekly, hebdomadal or hebdomedary, semi-weekly, daily: He buys every publication he can find dealing with model railways.

publicize v. promote, advertise, give publicity to, Colloq beat the drum for, plug, puff, US push, Slang hype: They once hired an elephant to publicize a huge department-store sale.

publish v. make public, put out, broadcast, spread (about or around), advertise, make known, let (something) be known, announce, publicize, report, proclaim, promulgate, bruit about, reveal, divulge, disclose, break the news (about), Colloq leak: The minister resigned the day the news of the scandal was published.

pucker v. 1 gather, draw together, compress, purse, crinkle, ruck, shirr, ruffle, corrugate, furrow, wrinkle, crease, screw up, tighten, contract, squeeze: Pucker up your mouth and give me a kiss. The shirring is done by puckering up the fabric and stitching it through with decorative thread.

--n. 2 gather, tuck, pleat, pleating, shirr, shirring, ruffle, ruck, ruche, ruckle, wrinkle, wrinkling, fold, crinkle, crinkling: The curtains have some puckers that need ironing.

puerile adj. childish, immature, babyish, infantile, juvenile, silly, asinine, foolish, trivial, ridiculous, irresponsible, shallow, inconsequential, insignificant, US sophomoric: Stop that puerile horseplay and settle down.


n. 1 blow, breath, wind, whiff, draught, gust, blast, huff: A


slight puff through the open window stirred the curtains. 2


draught, draw, pull, Colloq drag: She took a puff from her


cigarette and blew the smoke in his face. 3 advertisement,


praise, mention, word, item, review, notice, publicity, puffery,


Colloq plug, blurb, Slang hype: The late editions of the papers


carry puffs for your new restaurant.


--v. 4 blow, breathe, huff, pant, gasp, wheeze: Victor came


huffing and puffing up to the finishing line. 5 draw, pull (at


or on), inhale, suck, smoke, Colloq drag: Holmes was puffing


silently on his pipe. 6 Usually, puff up or out. inflate,


distend, bloat, swell (up or out), stretch, balloon, expand,


pump up, enlarge: Calvin swaggered in, all puffed up with pride


about his new job. 7 publicize, advertise, promote, push,


trumpet, ballyhoo, extol, commend, praise, Colloq plug, beat the


drum (for): He has been shamelessly puffing his book on every


radio and TV show.

pugilism n. boxing, prizefighting; the manly art of self-defence, fisticuffs; Colloq the boxing or fight game: His career in pugilism came to an abrupt end in the second minute of the third round.

pugilist n. boxer, prizefighter, fighter, contender, contestant, battler, combatant, Colloq bruiser, scrapper, champ, Slang slugger, pug: The pugilists came out of their corners and at once started jabbing away at each other.


adj. aggressive, belligerent, combative, quarrelsome, bellicose, antagonistic, argumentative, hostile, litigious, contentious, disputatious, disagreeable, fractious, petulant, testy, irascible, hot-tempered, choleric, unfriendly,

curmudgeonly, irritable, short-tempered: The Gothic tribes were very pugnacious, always ready to fight with little or no provocation.

pukka adj. 1 pukkah or pucka, well done or made, properly or perfectly done, first class: That was a pukka meal. 2 pukkah or pucka, genuine, good, authentic, reliable, honourable, fair, right, proper, thorough, out-and-out: They always referred to

him as 'pukka sahib'.


adj. whining, wailing, querulous, whimpering, snivelling,

weeping, caterwauling: The third-class carriage was filled with

chickens, pigs, and puling infants.


v. 1 draw, haul, drag, lug, tow, trail: Do you think the car

is strong enough to pull that load? 2 tug, jerk, yank, wrench, pluck: He suddenly pulled on the door and it opened. 3 Sometimes, pull out or up. pluck (out), withdraw, extract, uproot, pick (up or out), snatch out or up, tear or rip out or up, cull, select, draw out, take out, remove: We pulled out all the weeds and threw them on the compost heap. He has a collection of jokes pulled from his speeches. 4 Often, pull apart. tear or rip (up or apart), rend, pull asunder, wrench (apart), stretch, strain: This fabric is so weak it pulled

apart as soon as I touched it. I think I pulled a muscle in my calf. 5 Often, pull in. attract, draw, lure, entice, allure,

catch, captivate, fascinate, capture: We need something besides the 'Sale' sign to pull the customers into the shop. 6 pull

apart. pull to pieces or shreds, criticize, attack, pick or take apart or to pieces, flay, run down, Colloq put down, pan, knock, devastate, destroy, slate, Slang slam: The critics really

pulled apart her new play. 7 pull away. withdraw, draw or drive or go or move away; outrun, outpace, draw ahead of: She pulled away abruptly when he touched her hand. The green car is pulling away from the others. 8 pull back. a withdraw, draw back, back off or away, recoil, shrink (away or back) from, shy, flinch (from), jump, start: The burglar pulled back when he saw the ferocious dog. b withdraw, (beat a) retreat, take flight, flee,

turn tail, drop or fall back, back out: We cheered when we saw the enemy troops pulling back. 9 pull down. a demolish, raze, level, destroy, wreck: It takes only hours to pull down a house that it has taken generations to build. b draw, receive, get, be paid, earn: He pulls down much more at his new job. c lower, debase, diminish, reduce, degrade, dishonour, disgrace, discredit, humiliate: When his fortunes declined, he pulled down all his friends with him. 10 pull for. hope or pray for, be enthusiastic for, be supportive of, support, campaign for, cheer for, encourage, boost, US root for: We are all pulling for you to win. 11 pull in. a drive up, arrive, come, draw up or in, reach: The train finally pulled in at midnight. We need petrol, so pull in at the next filling station. b arrest, apprehend,

take into custody, Colloq pinch, nab, collar, nail, Brit nick, Slang bust: The cops pulled him in for possession of narcotics. 12 pull off. a detach, rip or tear off, separate, wrench off or away: When he was cashiered from the army, they pulled off all his insignia and medals. b accomplish, do, complete, succeed, carry out, bring off, manage, perform: Three men pulled off the robbery in broad daylight. 13 pull oneself together. recover,

get a grip on oneself, get over it, recuperate, Colloq snap out of it, buck up: Try to pull yourself together and stop crying. 14 pull out. a uproot, extract, withdraw: In the ensuing scrap, someone tried to pull out his hair. Two survivors were pulled out of the rubble. b withdraw, retreat, beat a retreat, recede, draw back, leave, depart, go or run away or off, evacuate, Colloq beat it, do a bunk, Brit do a moonlight flit: The artillery unit pulled out yesterday. c leave, go, depart, take off: When that train pulls out, I want you on it! d withdraw, quit, abandon, resign (from), give up, relinquish: You can still pull out of the deal if you want to. 15 pull someone's leg. tease, chaff, rib, have on, rag, twit, poke fun at, make fun of, hoodwink, ridicule: He said that I'd just eaten a fly, but he was pulling my leg. 16 pull strings. use influence or connections, US use pull, pull wires: His uncle pulled strings to get him the job. 17 pull through. survive, recover, improve, get better, get over (it or some affliction), rally; live: Murphy was at death's door, but luckily he pulled through. 18 pull up. a stop, halt, come to a standstill: We pulled up in a lay-by for a few minutes' rest. b uproot, root out, dig out, deracinate, eradicate: Your dog has pulled up all the flowers in my garden. c draw even or level with, come up to, reach: On the fifth lap, Manson pulled up to, then passed Sabbatini.

--n. 19 draw, tug; yank, jerk: Give the bell-rope a strong, steady pull, and try not to yank it suddenly. 20 attraction, draw, magnetism, appeal, drawing or pulling power, seductiveness, seduction, lure: The pull that golf has on certain people is hard to explain. 21 influence, authority, connections, prestige, weight, leverage, Colloq clout, muscle: You'd better treat her nicely, for she has a lot of pull with

the boss. 22 puff, draw, inhalation, Colloq drag: He took a long, meditative pull on his cigarette and blew some smoke rings.


n. sheave, block: The rope is run through a system of pulleys,


called a tackle, for lifting weights.


n. 1 marrow, pith, heart, soft part, flesh: After removing the


seeds, add two tablespoonfuls of sugar and mix into the pulp. 2


mush, paste, mash, pap, pomace, mass, Technical triturate:


Water is added to the waste paper, which the machines then


reduce to a pulp.

--v. 3 mash, squash, pulverize, Technical levigate, triturate: The entire print run of the book was pulped after she threatened to sue the publishers.

--adj. 4 lurid, sensational, trashy, cheap: What he considers great literature you would call pulp fiction.

pulsate v. beat, pulse, throb, pound, thrum, drum, thump, thud, reverberate, hammer, palpitate, vibrate; oscillate, quiver: Throughout the voyage, I could feel the ship's engines pulsating.

pulse n. 1 beat, beating, throb, throbbing, pulsing, pulsating, pulsation, pounding, thrumming, drumming, thumping, thudding, reverberation, reverberating, hammering, palpitation,

palpitating, vibration, vibrating: The pulse of the jungle drums became louder and faster.

--v. 2 See pulsate, above.

pulverize v. 1 powder, comminute, grind, crush, mill, granulate, crumble, break up, bray, pound, Technical triturate, levigate: This

machine pulverizes the rock, after which the binding agents are added. 2 devastate, destroy, demolish, crush, smash, shatter, ruin, wreck, annihilate: The four battalions were pulverized in the attack.

pump v. 1 send, force, deliver, push: The heart pumps blood around the body. 2 interrogate, question, examine, cross-examine,

quiz, probe, Colloq grill, give (someone) the third degree:

They pumped her for hours, but she told them nothing about my whereabouts. 3 pump out. pump dry or empty, empty, drain, bail out, draw or drive or force out, siphon (out): After the flood

it took two days to pump out my basement. 4 pump up. a

inflate, blow up; dilate, swell, bloat, expand, puff out or up: If you don't repair the tyre, pumping it up will accomplish nothing. b excite, inspire, stimulate, animate, inspirit, electrify, galvanize, energize, motivate, Colloq enthuse: The

coach is talking to the team, trying to pump them up before the big game. c intensify, concentrate, emphasize, stress, increase: We ought to pump up our promotion campaign just before Christmas.


n. play on words, quip, (bon) mot, witticism, double entendre,

Literary equivoque, Technical paronomasia: Dennis made some

awful pun on 'nose' and 'knows' that nobody got.


v. 1 hit, clip, jab, whack, thwack, knock, smack, box, pummel,

strike, cuff, Colloq clout, bop, slug, wallop, thump, lambaste, slam, Slang sock, biff, plug, belt, lace (into), US paste: Anyone says anything about my girl, I'll punch him in the jaw!

--n. 2 clip, jab, whack, thwack, knock, smack, box, cuff, upper-cut, left or right, Colloq clout, bop, slug, wallop,

thump, slam, Slang sock, belt, biff, haymaker, plug, paste: The punch knocked him down. 3 effect, impact, effectiveness, force, forcefulness, power, vitality, gusto, vigour, life, vim, zest, ginger, Colloq it, oomph, what it takes, Slang zing, zip: These advertisements are pretty, but they are lacking in punch.

punchý n. 1 awl, auger, bodkin, perforator; drill, brace and bit: Use the punch to make another hole in your belt.

--v. 2 pierce, stab, puncture, perforate; bore, drill: She uses a needle to punch a tiny hole in each end of the egg.

punctual adj. on time, timely, prompt, Colloq on the dot: Please be punctual, as I don't fancy waiting about in the street.

punctuate v. 1 interrupt, break, intersperse; pepper, sprinkle: The speeches were punctuated by frequent shouts from the audience. 2 accent, accentuate, underline, underscore, emphasize, stress, mark: He punctuated each element of his argument with a sharp rap of his pencil on the lectern.

puncture n. 1 hole, perforation, opening, leak; flat (tyre): I haven't the tools needed to patch the puncture in the tyre. 2

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